President — Mike Seelman, PO Box 141, Prudenville, MI 48651; firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President — Lloyd White, 2739 W M-28, Dafter, MI 49724; 906-632-6071
Secretary — Jim Neitling, PO Box 171, Kinross, MI 49752; 906-495-5233
Treasurer — Mark A. Spencer, N4552 Spencer Lane, Moran, MI 49760; 906-292-4779;
• Individual membership including subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $22
• Junior (16 & under) with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $17
Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:
P.O. Box 171
Kinross, MI 49752
As I write this, I’m looking out the window wondering what happened to summer. Actually the way the weather feels, it seems like it should be summer instead of the first days of fall. The poistitive of it all is, I finally made time to clean my traps, get them dipped and hung to dry.
At the last meeting during the convention, elections were held with the following results: Mike Seelman-President; Dan Johnson-Secretary; Ken Mills, Paul Davidson and Ed Lundborg – Directors. Awards were as follows: Mark Spencer Lifetime Achievement Award – Ralph DeGesie; Presidents Award – Ken Mills; Trapper of the Year – Dale Hendershot. As a result of increased costs of everything in life, hikes in membership dues were also voted on and passed as follows: Regular membership – $15, Junior membership – $7, Lifetime – $200, senior lifetime – $150. The new rates will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Also, during the meeting, Fur Harvesters Auctions donated monies to our education fund. This money is very important because it helps us as trappers to educate the public. WE, as trappers, are often seen and depicted as mindless mountain men with limited social values, poor grooming habits, hell-bent on destroying nature and annihilating all animals to extinction. When in reality this generalization is nowhere near the truth. (The exception being grooming habits during trapping season. My wife says it isn’t necessary to smell like beaver castor. I disagree. One must integrate and identify with his quarry in order to be successful.) A product of this fund was Mr. Zachary Cooley, a wildlife biologist for the Michigan DNR. With monies donated by Michigan Trappers and Northern Great Lakes Fur Harvesters, we were able to send Mr. Cooley to the FTA Trappers College in Milford, Indiana, in September 2014. The following is a quote from the thank you letter received from Mr. Cooley regarding his experience: “I feel that the college has allowed me to connect with our local trapping community, opened up our lines of communication and will help me serve them and you better as the Southeast Region’s representative on the DNR furbearer work group.”
We as trappers don’t have enough monies to send everyone to the FTA Trappers College. All we need is experience coupled with a genuine love of what we do, with a lot of desire mixed in. In simple terms, all we have to do is take a new kid trapping every year for a day or two and go to schools and educate the next generation so they will know the truth and be able to resist the lies of the anti-trapping community.
We have a new lifetime member by the name of Brian Riske. When your paths cross with Brian’s, thank him for his commitment and support.
Our next meeting will be Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lutheran church in Rudyard. I may not know “the way to San Jose,” but if you need help, give me a call and I can “get you to the church on time.”
As for who “me” is, I’m Dan Johnson, your newly elected Secretary. I hope I can fill a portion of the big shoes left empty by the departure of Jim and Penny Neitling. We have relied on their talents and abilities since day one of this organization. There will be a void left in their wake. If you have problems and need any assistance, please call and leave a message. I will help you out as soon as possible. We give a hearty thanks to Jim and Penny for a job well done. I’m sure I will stumble and skin my knees a time or two as I learn the ropes. But fear not, I have Jim and Penny’s phone number on speed dial and I’m in the process of mapping out Jim’s trapline so I can locate him at a moment’s notice. God bless you Jim and Penny. You are good people.
A final note before I get writer’s cramp and you get totally bored. November is election time again. For Michigan voters, Proposals 1 and 2 are on the ballot and are supported and written mostly by the Humane Society. Because of the ambiguous way they are written, it is important to vote “yes” on both proposals. Please vote and help keep the privileges we all enjoy and live for.
Trapping is a way of life. “Trapping is the art of getting cold, wet feet, no sleep, having a smelly truck, lugging around steel traps and spending $100 to make $50.” Trapping is an open door to the many secrets of nature that was created by God for mankind’s enrichment. That being said, good luck trapping this fall and always remember a bad of trapping is worth more than 100 good days at work. Until next time, God bless and be safe in the woods and on the water. — Dan Johnson